Statements and Webcast
H.E. Mr. Juan Pablo de Laiglesia, Permanent Representative
10 June 2011
JOSÉ LUIS SOLANO ( Spain), aligning with the European Union, said that in the 1990s, the AIDS epidemic was concentrated among drug users. Through the participation of all stakeholders, use of scientific evidence and commitment of policymakers, Spain had adopted stringent measures to halt the spread of the disease. The country’s epidemiological pattern was similar to that of its neighbours, and it had adopted measures like universal coverage of free antiretroviral treatment. It promoted preventive measures, such as condom use, and harm-reduction strategies for all populations. He also cited the success of needle-exchange programmes in prisons.
Equal rights for women and men were another important achievement, he said, adding that an ethical and effective response to the HIV epidemic must involve the full integration — on equal terms — of homosexual and transgender people. Quality sexual education in schools, and its adaptation to student diversity, was essential in that integration process. Among the challenges, people with HIV still faced stigma and discrimination, and he stressed the importance Spain attached to that issue. Spain would contribute to achieving the targets set out in new strategies of UNAIDS and the World Health Organization for the 2011-2015 period. In sum, it was essential to understand that the HIV pandemic was determined, not only by biology and behaviour, but also by culture, and social and economic inequalities. Thus, interventions should address those aspects.